Monday, December 3, 2007




Local Firefighters and Public Works Gain Improved Radio Coverage in the Process

BRACEBRIDGE – December 3, 2007 - Muskoka Community Network (MCN) is pleased to announce that by working together with the Town of Gravenhurst, many residents and businesses of Gravenhurst will have access to high speed internet 1.5 years sooner than originally planned. It is now anticipated that Gravenhurst will have access to high speed the first quarter of 2008 (formerly late 2009).

Collaboration with the Town has also brought about a solution to two of Gravenhurst’s more pressing communications challenges ─ insufficient two-way radio coverage for both firefighters and the Town’s Public Works department.

“In conversation with Muskoka Community Network we were able to arrange for our new radio equipment to be fixed atop the new broadband towers.” said Bob Colhoun, Deputy Mayor, Gravenhurst.

There will now be upgraded two-way radio coverage for Gravenhurst’s firefighters, improving both public and firefighter safety. There will also be an improvement in two-way radio coverage for the Town’s Public Works department, improving overall efficiency of the department.

“This is truly a win win for the Town of Gravenhurst,” added Colhoun. “Not only will we receive the highly anticipated high speed access sooner, we have saved the Town a large sum of money by optimizing Muskoka Commuity Network’s publicly (FedNor) funded project.”

"This is excellent news for families and businesses in Gravenhurst and I'm proud that our government was able to provide funding to help get this done," said Tony Clement, Minister for FedNor and MP for Parry Sound - Muskoka. "Our partnership with MCN and the Town of Gravenhurst is one more example of how important FedNor investment is to Muskoka and Parry Sound."

“Muskoka Community Network is committed to making the most of the public funding afforded by FedNor,” said Rob McPhee, Executive Director, Muskoka Community Network. “We would be more than happy to work with other towns and townships to explore common goals if opportunity exists.”

Gravenhurst to Receive / Page 2 of 2

On Bringing High Speed to Muskoka

It is estimated that 12,000 Muskoka-based businesses and residents are currently without access to high speed internet.

“In today’s competitive marketplace, access to high speed internet is a necessary advantage,” said Rob McPhee. “Not only does it benefit business, but residential consumers as well, who are continually in search of better and faster service.”

For the past two years, Muskoka Community Network has been working to bring high speed internet to the unserved businesses and residents of Muskoka and Almaguin.

To date, Muskoka Community Network has performed a gap analysis to determine who is currently without access; has secured substantial funds from FedNor ($1.7 million) towards the development of an infrastructure to deliver broadband to unserved areas; and through an open bidding process retained Core Broadband to begin building the necessary infrastructure earlier this year.

Under this project, wireless broadband coverage is expected to reach 80 per cent of Gravenhurst’s unserved population, including Kilworthy, Kahshe, Houseys Rapids and Barkway. Approximately 20 per cent of the population may not be able to receive service due to terrain or low elevation issues.

About FedNor

FedNor is a federal regional development organization in Ontario that works with a variety of partners, as both a facilitator and catalyst, to help create an environment in which communities can thrive, businesses can grow and people can prosper.

About Muskoka Community Network

Muskoka Community Network (MCN) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to facilitating the implementation of telecommunications solutions for the regions of Muskoka and Almaguin by working with, and forming partnerships with both the public and private sectors.


For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Rob McPhee
Muskoka Community Network

Alison Withey
Blue Whale Communications Inc.

Visit Muskoka Community Network at our website at

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